Just 104 laps prior to the finish of Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, William Byron was sent spinning through the infield grass, after contact from Corey LaJoie on the frontstretch.
About 90 minutes later, though, the Hendrick Motorsports driver was standing in a makeshift victory lane in the track’s media center, celebrating his fourth NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
Byron was able to make the final pass for the lead on AJ Allmendinger with what ended up being 20 laps remaining in Sunday’s Quaker State 400, which was deemed official after 185 of 260 laps due to inclement weather.
In the closing green-flag laps of the event, Daniel Suarez was attempting to build a run on the race leader, by moving from the outside to the inside quickly to build a run, but was unsuccessful in making the move around the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro.
Ultimately, it was a caution flag thrown at Lap 179 for an accident involving Bubba Wallace, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. that slowed the event for the final time, as rain quickly bombarded the area under yellow.
Suarez would finish the race in the runner-up position, picking up his second top-five result of the year. AJ Allmendinger was able to hold on for third, while Michael McDowell and Kyle Busch completed the top five.
Brad Keselowski, who was forced to pit for fuel on the second-to-last caution of the evening, would rebound to finish in sixth place, after leading 19 laps in the latter portion of the rain-shortened event.
JJ Yeley, driving the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing, came home in seventh place, putting together another incredible run for the two-car operation. It’s the best finish for Yeley since Loudon in 2008.
Justin Haley recorded a second straight finish inside the top-10 in the eighth position, while Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. completed the top-10.
Aric Almirola, who started on pole for Sunday’s Quaker State 400, led a race-high 46 laps in the early portion of the event but was shuffled back outside the top-10 as the race progressed, ultimately finishing 18th.
Similarly, Chris Buescher led a significant number of laps for RFK Racing, but was forced to pit along with teammate Brad Keselowski less than 30 laps before the end of the event, but came home in 15th.
With his victory at Atlanta, and a poor showing by Martin Truex, Jr., William Byron leaves the 1.5-mile superspeedway with a 21-point advantage in the regular-season point standings.
Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain complete the top-five in points leaving the 19th event of the year. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano complete the top-10.